September 2012

Monthly Archive

Barcelona .. End of the Line

Posted by on 23 Sep 2012 | Tagged as: birding, Wandering Members

We arrived at our final stop, Barcelona, the morning of Day 12 and were off the ship by 9:00 AM.   Prairie Home Companion had booked a hotel for us and provided transportation to it.  We ended up at the Hotel Rey Juan Carlos, far from both the harbor and downtown, but the Metro service was so good that location didn’t matter.

We planned to stay for three days but our friends were leaving the next morning.  As soon as we had settled in, the four of us headed downtown to the Picasso Museum.  They had bought a seven museum package online before leaving Boston which included the Picasso.  We had to buy tickets at the door. Continue Reading »

The City of Valencia

Posted by on 21 Sep 2012 | Tagged as: birding, Wandering Members

The evening we left Málaga, baritone singer, Vern Sutton, on the nightly Garrison Keillor show, presented a spirited rendition of: “On the road to Mandalay,   Where the flying fishes play….”

Next morning, right on cue, the flying fishes showed up.

No one on board knew much about flying fish so I am not sure what we saw.   National Geographic’s website says there are some forty species worldwide.  Other websites say the Cheilopogon heterurus is common in summer in the western Mediterranean, so that is probably what we encountered. Continue Reading »

Surprise in Malaga

Posted by on 20 Sep 2012 | Tagged as: birding, Wandering Members

Day 9 of our sojourn was spent at Malaga. En route from Tangier we passed “The Rock of Gibraltar.” Some of the keener types stayed up until midnight to see it but we wimped out and went to bed.

As soon as we docked, Beth and I headed ashore and found a taxi. After a long discussion we determined that there were no lakes in the area (we didn’t know the term for wetlands), but there was a river. I was not optimistic about birding a river but the other choice was shopping, so off we went.
Continue Reading »

Don’t drink the Coke in Tangier, Morocco

Posted by on 19 Sep 2012 | Tagged as: Wandering Members

Day 8 of our APHC cruise took us to Tangier, Morocco. During his show that evening, Garrison Keillor remarked that it was nice to be in a place that reminded one of what it had been like when men were in charge.

We hired a guide in the port, Mahmoud, and he, in turn, hired a taxi. We were soon off and quickly drove out of downtown and into a very classy residential sector. We passed an extremely portentous house and grounds and Mahmoud said that it was his place. Wow! Then he admitted that the mayor lived there, it was just that he paid for it (with his taxes).

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Birding Cadiz, Spain

Posted by on 19 Sep 2012 | Tagged as: birding, Wandering Members

Days 6 and 7 of our APHC cruise were spent in Cadiz, Spain.  I wasted much of the first day doing cultural stuff but did see a lot of gulls and shorebirds on the beaches and along the causeway out to Castillo de San Sebastian.   Among them were Sanderlings and Little Ringed Plovers, both first-time European birds for me.  I also found two nesting colonies of Monk Parakeets in a seaside park.
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Tagus Estuary Birding (Lisbon)

Posted by on 16 Sep 2012 | Tagged as: birding, Wandering Members

We arrived in Lisbon, Portugal early on Day 5 of our APHC cruise. It is some distance up the Tagus River which makes it a well protected, and in days of old, defensible port.

The two city bridges are unique. The first looks like the Golden Gate in California and was completed in 1966. First named after the dictator, Salazar, it was later renamed for the day of his overthrow, 25 de Abril. It was built with six road lanes and in 1999 two railroad tracks were added below the road. This lower deck is corrugated iron which makes a humming sound when boats pass under it.
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Lake Ashby Paddle with Volusia County staff

Posted by on 16 Sep 2012 | Tagged as: flowers, outreach


On Friday, Sep 14th, Maureen and I participated in a paddle sponsored by Volusia County at Lake Ashby. It was led by Bonny Cary, and David Griffis, a county extension agent helped out. David runs the Florida Master Naturalist programs for the county. There were about a dozen kayaks and our canoe. We were probably the only newbies on the tour. That fact notwithstanding, everyone made us feel really welcome.

It was a leisurely paddle starting at the boat launch on Commercial Avenue off Lake Ashby Road. We were scheduled to go around the lake to the Wiregrass Prairie Preserve property.
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Sailing with Garrison Keillor

Posted by on 13 Sep 2012 | Tagged as: birding, Wandering Members

Beth and I went on A Prairie Home Companion cruise with Garrison Keillor again this year. The cruise was over the second half of August and went from Amsterdam to Barcelona, Spain with stops in Vigo, Cadiz, Malaga and Valencia in Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; and Tangier, Morocco.

The ornithologist and oceanographer from last year’s trip were aboard but we missed the geologist, who was also a great birder.
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Niagara Falls by Ken and Beth

Posted by on 07 Sep 2012 | Tagged as: Wandering Members

Beth and I were in Ontario, Canada in August and decided to make our first ever visit to Niagara Falls. We managed to get lost looking for our hotel and drove right past first the American then the Canadian Falls – WOW!!! It was more spectacular than we could ever have imagined. What power! What force! We continued our lost way upstream past the rapids above the falls – also impressive. Continue Reading »